Patriotism makes tradition stick - Justin Boron

Grilling, ice cold beverages, being outdoors, and now fireworks. Finally.

This is what Georgia has needed all along to complete its eclectic landscape of beer drinkers, religious fundamentalists, boiled peanut stands, and strip malls.

I was pretty excited to see the packages of sparkler fireworks in markets right next to signs reading "coldest beer in town."

Placing the two together should make for a weekend at hospitals jam packed with burn injuries.

But realistically, the fireworks have been here all along, so it shouldn't be that much of a different scenario.

I am looking forward to seeing legitimate people legally shooting off fireworks in the streets. There is nothing better than seeing the folding lawn chairs lined down the street for a fourth of July block party.

There are kids running back and forth, reaching into coolers for another soda, and adults shooting the breeze over drinks.

The best is when no one in the neighborhood is really invited to an organized party. But somehow, they're out and people just inadvertently come together for one.

The patriotic purpose of the day often gets lost, like anything, in the hullabaloo of the party. Even though it should be, the flag and freedom are not what fourth of July is about for me.

Personally, the fourth means family traditions.

Growing up , that tradition was root beer floats.

After spending a couple hours playing with sparklers, smoke snakes, and any other fireworks my age would permit, I perched myself on the driveway, float in-hand as the grand finale began.

For fifteen minutes, neighbors would set one off after the other – roman candles, bottle rockets, and sparklers – until site of the other side of the street was completely blocked by smoke.

The experience has made the smell of firework smoke, melted ice cream, and root beer an inseparable sensation.

While the politics of patriotism may divide everyone, its nice to see the traditions spurred by it work to bring people together.

Justin Boron is the government reporter for the News Daily. His column appears Monday. He can be reached at 770-478-5753 or jboron@news-daily.com /